Filtering by Tag: music

Monday Mixtape: Novelin' Music


Music is an integral part of my writing process. For me, it's very much the first stages of character development. I'll hear a song and go, "Oh, this song is totally so-and-so," or "That song is perfect for the scene where this thing happens." I'm even known to do this for my writing lobster's novels.

While plotting, I always compile a playlist of songs that strike something in me about the story. Usually, the playlist gets absurdly long--we're talking 75-100 songs sometimes.

As the story comes more into focus, as I get to know the characters better, the playlist shrinks. I listen to these playlists on loop while I write, and for months and months after I finish a draft, every time I hear a song that had been on a playlist, I go right back to that story.

I'm currently almost done with the third book in my first series, and its playlist sits at about twenty songs. Each one represents something about the story, or a piece of a character, and they immediately put me into the story.

I decided to share a few of these songs with you guys today.

First up, "Till the Casket Drops" by ZZ Ward:


"Show Me Your Fangs" by Matt Nathanson:


"I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen:


So, there ya have it. The soundtrack of random that is on repeat in my head right now!

What about ya'll? Do you use music playlists as you write? What kind of music do you listen to? Any recommendations? I'm always on the lookout for new music!

Muse Food

I've been making steady progress on the revisions for my Work-in-Progress, and I'm excited. I feel like the new Chapter 1 is the strongest version yet and that I'm definitely getting somewhere.

My muse has been fueled by a playlist of songs I compiled that remind me of my characters and the story they're telling. Here are a couple of the juiciest cuts that get me inspired:

Gavin DeGraw - Run Every Time

I love the overall feeling of this song. Of having something great right in front of you, but being too afraid to grab it with both hands. It captures my main character's inner conflict perfectly.

LeAnn Rimes - What Have I Done

This song is soaked in regret and heartbreak and it just gets to me. I love the line, "Gonna smash every mirror in this empty house, because like you I don't want to see myself." Gah!

Jessica Harp - Over Me

My favorite lines: "She's your growing up, I'm your staying young" While some of these lyrics could be considered wishful thinking on the part of my main character, those two lines describe what's going on so simply: her ex is growing up, moving on. And it hurts.

Matt Nathanson - Kept

I hear this song at the point in my story when my main character does something she shouldn't have done. I love the line "The morning came and it felt like truth."

The last one I'm gonna share with you hit me like a brick the first time I heard it. I love Michelle Branch and I wish we heard more from her. Her new music is fantastic, and this song has inspired many hours of furious typing away on my laptop.

Michelle Branch - Summertime

I love the nostalgic feeling of this. The bittersweet taste of looking back and remembering someone. The parts that spoke to me the most were, "I heard she's wearing a shiny diamond ring, I guess you're finally moving on," and "Kissing underneath the moonlight, discovering things we never thought we'd find." This song is so, so good!

So there you have it. A peek at the playlist revolving inside my head. There are dozens more songs. Maybe I'll share more with you later! Now, back to work!

Do you make playlists for your Works-in-Progress? Or do you write in silence? Maybe instrumental instead of songs with lyrics? What feeds YOUR Muse?



Mixtape Monday - The First Album I Ever Owned

So, I was listening to music this morning as I worked on my (boring) homework and a song came on. It was a song I hadn't heard in a while and had forgotten about. Immediately, I started singing along. I still knew every word. I still loved this song. What song, you ask?

This one:


Do any of you remember Expose`? I was a kid when they were really popular, but I vividly remember receiving the cassette tape for Christmas. Yes, cassette tape! It was the first album I'd ever owned. Before that, all my songs were recorded off the radio. Anyone remember doing that?

Anyway, I loved that tape. It had so many great songs on it, a good portion of which were written by the amazing Diane Warren. Like this one:



And this one:


Just listening to these takes me back to when I was a kid, alone in my room, blaring these songs and singing like I knew what they were about. They don't really make music like this anymore, do they?

So, what about you? Do you remember these songs? Cassette tapes? What was the first album YOU owned?


Monday Mixtape - So...Very...Random

Ahh, Monday. How did you get here so fast? Am I the only one who can't believe it's already February? Where does the time go?

Did everyone watch the Superbowl yesterday? I have to admit, it was on but I definitely wasn't watching it. Guess what I was doing instead? No, not writing (bad Meika). I was playing with my brand spanking new iPhone!

*cue girlish squeals and hand clapping*

I've lusted after the iPhone for soooo long. And then Dana got one a few months ago, which only made me want it more. Well, yesterday I finally got one. And I'm super excited and slightly obsessed. Now, if only I could figure out how to blog from the thing, we'd be all set...

Anyway, today's Mixtape is full of randomness. It's just the kind of mood I'm in.

Do any of you watch Glee? I have no problem admitting that I'm a big ole Gleek. In fact, I couldn't wait for the Superbowl to get over last night so I could watch it. Anyway, Gwyneth Paltrow just did a guest appearance on the show a couple months ago, and she sang this:

How great is she?

I feel like I should apologize in advance for this next video. My mythology professor had us watch this in class last week (I'm like 90% sure it has nothing to do with Mythology, but...eh, I was amused). Prepare yourselves for some creepy, scaly manfish:

(I'm so ashamed...)

Hmm...what can I do to make up for that lost minute and a half of your lives? How about some Jason Mraz? I love the simplicity of this song. It's just...ahh.

Favorite line: "And it takes no time to fall in love/But it takes you years to know what love is."

I really, truly, sincerely hope you forgive me for sharing Old Gregg...it's been stuck in my head for days!

Anyway, have a great Monday. I'm off to play with my new toy...and maybe finish chapter 18...

Monday Mixtape - Honorable Mentions

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope the weekend was long and relaxing for you guys. Mine, well...not so much! But I'll survive!

I had a blast participating in the Page 99 Blogfest -- if you didn't check out everyone's pages, do it! It was fun and interesting and educational. Thanks to everyone who swung by to read my page and for all your lovely comments. Tierney isn't as heartless and selfish as she comes off on that page, I swear!

Anyhoo, the lineup for Monday Mixtape is filled with leftovers from last week's blogfest. My honorable mentions that didn't quite make it to my top ten list. Hope you enjoy!

Addicted - Kelly Clarkson
Who hasn't been in a relationship like this before?
My favorite line: Well...all of it, really.

Cruz - Christina Aguilera

I don't know what it is about this song, but every time I hear it, I want to close my eyes and soak it in...
My favorite line: "As I'm driving I'm captured by the view/So much beauty, the road becomes my muse"

The Difference - Matchbox Twenty

My all-time favorite song by this band is Hand Me Down, but this one is a VERY close second. I love Rob Thomas' voice and he's a great songwriter. My favorite line: "Day breaking on the boulevard/Feel the sun warming up your second hand heart"

Top Ten Countdown - Music Blogfest

How in the heck do I always manage to find out about these blogfests ON the day they're happening? We need some sort of master list with all the 'fests in the blogosphere!

Anyway, no Monday Mixtape today. Instead, I'm gonna participate last minute in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Music Blogfest. I still get to share music, which is awesome!

So, without further ado (and very quickly since I have to be to work in like half an hour!), here are my top ten favorite songs:

10. Moon River - Audrey Hepburn/Henry Mancini

As a hardcore Audrey fan, it would be a sin to not include this song. This is a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's. If you haven't seen it -- WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??
9. There Goes the Boy - Cyndi Thomson. I can't find a video for this song, but it's such a bittersweet story about a girl's first love. The lyrics are here
8. Fragile - Delta Goodrem

Heartbreakingly honest lyrics, gorgeous vocals...gah! I love it!
7. My Immortal - Evanescence. It doesn't get more haunting than this.
6. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls. Love the lyrics.
5. Break Me - Jewel

You guys sensing a theme here? I love me a good, honest ballad. And Jewel's lyrics are just so open and honest.
4. Plane - Jason Mraz

This is the song that made me buy Jason's Mr. A-Z album. I was super bummed upon discovering the album version is a big piano ballad. While it's gorgeous, I love the stripped down acoustic version the best.
3. What I Cannot Change - LeAnn Rimes.

You all already know I adore LeAnn Rimes. This song is so beautiful and honest. And it's become my mantra for life.
2. Vanishing - Mariah Carey

This is Mariah at her best. The vocals on this song are smoking and the lyrics are gorgeous! I want old school MC back!!
1. Me & Bobby McGee

I'm partial to the LeAnn Rimes recording of this song, since she introduced me to it. But Janis is amazing and this song is just sooooo good! I love the line, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

Gah! That was HARD! I feel like I should have another list of ten for honorable mentions! Songs like Terrified by Katharine McPhee or Addicted by Kelly Clarkson or Cruz by Christina Aguilera or Happy by Rachel Williams or...I should probably stop. I could go on for days.

Alright, I'm off to take a peek at everyone else's entries before work. Make sure you guys all do the same. And have a great Monday!

Monday Mixtape #2

Since last Monday's Mixtape post was met with a warm response, I decided to make it a weekly thing. After all, there's nothing I love more than sharing music that makes he happy down to my toes. This week, I'm going with a few lesser known artists that I have come to adore.

First up is Michigan Native Rachel Williams. She's an amazing country singer who hasn't quite hit the mainstream yet. This song is so gorgeous and has become my theme song:


Next is Mr. Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams. I fell in love with this song a couple years ago and it still makes me melt when he sings, "I can't win, but for you, I will try."


This last artist isn't really "unknown." In fact, she used to be huge. She just stepped back into the spotlight with a new cd filled with gorgeous songs. This is one of my favorites:


It's entirely possible that I need to get some writing done before work. So I'm gonna go do that. Hope everyone has a great Monday!



Monday Mixtape

Music is my drug of choice. I'm sure I've said that before. A good song fills me up just as well, if not better, than a gourmet, five-course meal. There's always a song in my head and I feel lost when I can't listen to music. Above anything, I adore a strong, beautiful, unique lyric. I've been listening to music all morning and thought I'd share a few songs with you guys. These are my favorites at the moment. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! And maybe they'll make your Monday a little less dreadful!

This one has been one of my favorite songs for years. I love the lyrics. Kristyn Osborn is a wizard with words. My vocabulary has been expanded from the years of listening to her songs.


Again, I'm addicted to Sara Bareilles's new cd. This song makes my heart ache.


Ahh, Jason Mraz. My heart belongs to this man. Not only is he a master of words, his voice is so amazing. And this song just tugs at my heartstrings and makes me smile.


I've got just under thirty minutes before work. Maybe I'll listen to these songs one more time and squeeze a little writing in. Happy Monday, everyone!



My Writing Vacation

I am a horrible, horrible blogger.

To be honest, I've been a horrible, horrible writer too.

You remember when I said I was taking a break from my current WiP to work on an old one? Well, it somehow morphed into a plain ole break. I haven't picked up a pen or opened a word document in about a week. For the first few days, I enjoyed the living heck outta it. But now...I kind of miss it. The adrenaline, the frustration, the whole damn process.

I got a confirmation email last Wednesday for my Createspace copy. It's not gonna be perfect. In fact, it's gonna be a downright disaster. No title page, chapters starting on the right AND left sides, the cover not exactly what I had in mind. Oh, not to mention the same scene in Chapters 12 AND 14. BUT! It's mine. A real live copy of something I slaved over for months. So, even if it isn't perfect, I'm just super-excited to hold it in my hands, ya know?

I have been addicted to Sara Bareilles' new song lately.


It's catchy and fun and I sing it all day at work. Much better than having Adam Lambert stuck in my head, let me tell you.

I've been doing some driving lately. A friend of mine took it upon herself to teach me and so once a week, she picks me up and lets me drive around town. Last week, it was just the back country roads while I got comfortable behind the wheel. Yesterday, I drove the busier streets. And I didn't run over any pedestrians or back-end someone or have a panic attack! Next time, we'll probably try the busiest street -- which just so happens to be the street I work on. It's my biggest driving fear. Well, that and the highway. But gradually, I'm conquering these fears. Couldn't be prouder of myself. Isn't it silly that driving has scared me so much?

I finally got to go to the beach yesterday. I love to swim. LOVE to swim. But I rarely get to do it. We've been in the middle of a heat wave 'round here, but I've been stuck at work all day. Wouldn't it figure that my day off is when the heat breaks? It was still plenty warm enough to swim, though I'm sure I would have appreciated it more when the weather was nearing a hundred degrees. Still felt amazing to dive into that cool water. If I could, I'd swim every single day of my life. I think I was a fish in another life.



I have to get ready for work (I hate Saturdays!), but I'll leave you guys with a couple links I thought were super helpful. Well, they would have been if I was actually WRITING right now. Ah well, soon.

201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity
10 Writing Tips That Can Help Almost Anyone, courtesy of Janet Fitch

I'm hoping to get back to something resembling a blogging routine soon. Wanderlust Wednesdays, book reviews, progress updates. I've got my fingers crossed! In the meantime, Happy Saturday, everyone!